One of the most recurring tragedies of the past years has consistently taken place in the Mediterranean sea between Italy and North Africa. As countries and states in Northern Africa continue to dissolve into sectarian violence and rebellion, many people are looking for a way out of the conflict and away from danger. They look at the Mediterranean and Italy and they see salvation; leading them to spending massive amounts of money on sketchy people who have no true interest in making sure they reach Italian shores alive. The stories of dangerously overpacked and under-prepared migrant transport ships sinking, catching fire, or disappearing have been told over and over again and yet the situation continues to happen with worrisome frequency. Now it is happening again and Italian authorities are hoping they can avoid another catastrophic loss of life. While most past crossing attempts have been made in poorly repaired and barely ocean-worthy fishing ships and dinghies, the more recent attempts have seen traffickers using larger cargo ships so that they can pack more people onboard and make more money at a time. This also means that the chance of lost life are higher as well, especially seeing as how the ships are still poorly maintained and crewed.
The most recent tragedy has occurred due to the crew of the ship abandoning it and all of the passengers due to horrible weather off the coast of Italy. Unwilling to lose anymore lives to the ocean, the Italian government has launched it’s 3rd day of rescue attempts to secure the ship and the people aboard. The ship was supposedly abandoned with all 450 passengers after sailing most of the way under the flag of Sierra Leone before running out of fuel, food, and supplies for those on board. The crew then abandoned ship and, with no one at the tiller, there is a serious risk of it running aground and sinking.
While no one is sure where the boat originally came from, it is currently under control of a joint European task force that was created to prevent this sort of thing from happening. Due to the work of these brave men and women, most (if not all) of the migrants will survive to see another day.
If you’d like to read more, the link is here.